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further $200 billion by changing the way government calculates the levels for social security and medicare. humbug, indeed. that's the christmas message from speaker boehner. "hardball" with chris matthews is next. in the belly of the beast. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris mam ewes in washington. let me start tonight with some grave robbing. we're going gown to the dark, cold tomb of the late romney campaign. we're going to excavate the murky truths that were the living heart and mind of the defeated republican effort. going to exhume tonight the guts of the thinking that went on and went so wrong. tonight, we get what we only
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guessed at, the results of which played out in the numbers of election night. the nasty, anti-immigrant politics, the attitude toward that 47%, the failure to turn out the white male vote, the reason romney picked ryan and the wild prelude to the clipt eastwood performance. tonight on "hardball," the dark arona of what lies now beneath the dirt so we can understand what it looks like, to think and feel your way into a historic disaster. with me are jeff zeleny with "the new york times" and susan milligan who is contributing editor at ""u.s. news & world report."" you laugh, it's not funny. you both attended that harvard institute of policy forum. they just released, we have the audio recordings of that not filmed event. we have a real autopsy of what went on behind the scenes. during the primaries, the conventions and the general election on the romney side. let's start with the republican race for the nomination. romney's campaign manager matt rhodes was asked whether his
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candidate had gone too far to the right on immigration when challenged by texas governor rick perry and whether he had any regret about that. rhodes brings up the romney attacks on perry for calling social security a ponzi scheme and says he now feels that would have been enough to defeat perry. he says he didn't need to take the hard right stance on immigration. let's listen to this. here it is. >> i regret that -- i truly believe that people were shocked that we were going after governor perry in a republican primary on social security. they were critical of us at the time saying we were hitting him from the left, and, you know, if you look through the unwinding of the perry campaign, a lot of people put a focus on that one infamous debate moment, but it was the very early debates, the first and second debates, and by the third debate, and this is well before the other moment, i think governor perry was baddy
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hurt. in retrospect, i believe that we could have probably just beaten governor perry with the social security hit. >> boy, talk about a ruthless comment by a cynic talking there saying we didn't have to go in on immigrant tactically we could have beaten him on his stupid comment on social security. the whole thing about immigration, self-deportation, all the rotten hard right position they took was just a tactic and they could have avoided it. that's his entire assessment. i don't think these people deserve to win assessments. >> i this i think matt rhodes was saying something that we have all believed -- >> that romney is pretending to be anti-immigrant. >> not necessarily they. that he was -- >> why did he. >> he was worried about the other primary opponents. michele bachmann was still in the race. they were really worried about governor perry. when governor perry got into the race their fund-raising fell down and the romney campaign did not quite realize that governor
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perry, you know, was going to be as bad a debater as he was. if they had known that, they never would have said any of this stuff but this just opens up a bit -- >> but i'm telling you db maybe you can't agree. i have an opinion. my opinion is if they're willing to say no student in state division for people who come here because their parents brought them here which is a normal break you give a kid who knows up in texas. what a rotten approach to take to win a couple points against perry. >> but this was his whole campaign was basically a businessman's approach and accommodating product for the consumer, and the consumer in the primary was a conservative voter u just as a consumer in massachusetts was a liberal voter and the general election was different. he thought he had to come at him from the right. in retrospect it's easy for matt rhodes to say we should have -- >> why didn't he just say it's wrong. >> it's a little early to -- >> it's morally wrong to beat the hell out of young people who grew up, children of immigrants,
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legal or not. they didn't break any laws, the kids, and they're trying to go to school here. >> it's funny, at the time governor perry and newt gingrich at the time as well, was much to the left of mitt romney on immigration. so i just think the campaign manager, matt rhodes is someone, he's an operative, he's been inside the bush world, inside the romney world in both cycles. we haven't heard to him hardly at all. this just offered a window. i think he was being honest -- >> maybe being tactical. w was good on immigration. >> he was. >> here is matt rhodes again. he spoke about that infamous 47% comment romney made when he thought it was a closed door fund-raiser. the doors were closed but the tape was on. let's listen. >> i remember speaking to him and, you know, there was a lot of negativity about our campaign as a whole, but he's a person that takes personal responsibility about it, and he would toll me on -- to me, like, you didn't say 47%ings matt.
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stoort didn't say 47%. i did. and obviously it was not a high moment for our campaign, but i think it speaks a lot to who mitt romney is, and i also like to think it speaks a lot to who this campaign team is that we were able to make a run and come back from that because there were periods during that time where people, and many people in this room, said that we had no chance. we never allowed ourselves to believe that, and the governor never allowed himself to believe that either. >> susan, it was profoundingly to me, here is the people on the center right and far right across the board on that campaign recognizing that what the presidential candidate was caught say being the 47% was so grievous that it was almost like a mortal wound and they had to sort of suffer through it. >> yeah. well, what you can't hear on the tape is when he said that was not a high moment for us and everybody laughed in the room.
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you can't hear that this on the tape. but they didn't even in this event sort of apologize for the substance of that. it was just an acknowledgment it did do them damage. the obama people said it certainly helped them, but they also didn't think that that rush that they had in the polls right after that was really real. i mean, that was another thing that was very different between the two campaigns. i fell the obama people were much more realistic about the numbers, what the numbers really were as compared to the romney campaign. >> what do you make of that, the fact -- again, we see the pattern of tactical answers to what seem to be terrible statements about half the country, 47% not being this guy's responsibility. >> right. i mean, i think in fairness these questions were tactical questions. this was a forum about the nuts and bolts of why they did this or that, but i thought interestingly, i agree with susan, the obama campaign was saying that even though things looked a little bit better for them, they thought it was only a temporary thing. they thought they were only getting some of the independents temporarily. we saw that after the first debate things switched back very quickly. the obama campaign thought it was a good moment for them only
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because it was a bad moment for mitt romney. this was a low moment of the romney campaign, not just because of the comments, a, they didn't know how to react and there was a lot of internal infighting with stuart stevens and matt rhodes. >> the polling clearly suggested their candidates was in a much better position than he really was. neil newhouse spoke about what surprised him most in the turnout on election day. this is fascinating this stuff. let's listen to neil newhouse. >> the real hidden story here from our side, when you lose, you nitpick the numbers and go through this stuff. the number of white men who didn't vote in this election compared to white women compared to four years ago was extraordinary. something like 286,000 white men who voted in '08 in ohio didn't vote in '12. and in florida, something like 400,000. and these white men were replaced in the electorate to
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some extent by white women. we were taking a group we won by 27 points and replacing them with a group we won by 12 or 14 points. >> here is a campaign geared to igniting and irritating angry white men, getting them rhode island up. i didn't think it took much rallying to get out and vote against obama. >> it's hard to hear that because we lost power at some point. we were all talking in the dark which was kind of interesting. what was interesting to me is they still seem to not understand what the demographics of this country are now. they really seemed genuinely stunned they didn't get the male white vote out more. they said they had been replaced with basically white women and they kind of gave the impression that had they just gotten that vote out, that they would have won. but there was an iffy -- >> that's true long term but in the short term these white men were angry but apparently they were in a cross wind. they didn't know whether to vote for the rich guy who seemed to have no interest in them or the liberal guy from the democratic party that seemed to be from the other philosophy. >> and at the end of the day
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they went to the liberal day -- >> some of them didn't show. >> they thought the liberal guy understood them more and it's all because the obama campaign and the democratic super pacs defined romney from the get-go and the people in ohio just thought that romney did not understand their lives, their problems -- >> well, that's true. >> neil newhouse is a smart pollster. he did hot have the size of the lector rate right. if the electorate they are -- >> you say they're -- susan is right. >> they would have won but they did not expect the black -- >> do you have any history of people, white men, regular voters, not voting? i don't know when they do not vote in they seem they always vote. he's talking about them not showing up. did they stay at home? doesn't everybody want to vote? >> well, i don't know. maybe there was an issue here with, you know, as jeff was saying, do you vote for the rich guy or the black guy? for some, you know, sort of working class white voter, that might be something -- >> we're not being crude here but i think it's true.
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let's take a look at this romney adviser stu stevens spoke about one of the campaign ace biggest face plants, the clint eastwood conversation with an empty chair. eastwood had spoken enthusiastically at a number of gop fund-raisers and so sharifer asked him to do the same thing he had done before successfully at the convention without much success ultimately we now know. let's look at this one. >> i said, you know, are you going to do what we talked about, are you going to talk about what we talked about at these fund raidsers? and he looked at me and said yep. >> make my day? >> it's clint eastwood. you argue with him. >> well, that's not really useful putting together a platform for the president. the night he's accepting the nomination in tampa was not a great convention because of a couple things. one of them being the distraction of eastwood's performance. i liked it as show business. it was out of place obviously,
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but what do you think of the work they did in terms of prepping that thing? did they do it wrong? or was it all eastwood's number? >> that clearly should not have been in prime time. >> right before the presidential candidate. >> had that happened an hour earlier. it would have been funny. the room would have liked it. but when the broadcast viewers came in and saw that that was their introduction to mitt romney and the look on ann romney's face who looked horrified to me. i remember sitting no the that far from her in the convention hall, could you see she was troubled by this and certainly startled by it. it's stunning for all the planning, for all the millions of dollars and polling ads that something like this would happen and they wouldn't vet his speech. it's almost mind boggling. >> i don't think it's the romney sort of humor anyway. >> no. >> the interesting thing, too, is the obama campaign was saying it's a good thing they didn't run that romney video during that time because that was a very well-done, powerful int introductory and by graphical of romney. >> i think they would have had a
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better convention. >> thank you for giving us the inside of the belly of the beast. susan. the drip, drip, drip of big name republicans who say higher tax rates are inevitable for the top people. that continues. polls say voters will blame the gop if we go over the cliff but i worry when the time comes the president will also take the hit. also from the just get over it department, there's a new ppp poll that finds that 25% of republicans want their state to secede from the union. do you believe this number? i am deeply convinced it's mainly in the south. and by the way, another 19% say they aren't so sure about secession. are these people meatheads or what? 44% of the republican party either does or might go along with secession snp what do you want to bet these are the same people who say president obama is a muslim. just guessing. he's outspoken tough, irremember vent, biting, funny, and very, very smart. he'll be insufferable now. barney frank entered congress at the start of the reagan revolution, he's leaving it as it begins to crumble. the man from m joins us.
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finally, consider yourself warned, barack obama is a socialist leading the you don't communism. that's the latest from the sage of what silly, sarah palin. that's what she's still saying, and this is "hardball," the place for politics. and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. and don't get heartburn in the first place! if we want to improve our schools... ... what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ... nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
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political campaigns are always competing to figure out the best ways to use social media. as the romney campaign learned, not all publicity is good publicity. yahoo! announced its top search terms of the year and three of the top ten came from the romney campaign. good news? not really. coming in at nine, etch-a-sketch. romney adviser eric fehrnstrom's famous prediction he would shift sharply to the middle in the general election and did he. number eight, eastwooding. inspired by clint eastwood's bizarre convention perform epps. number two yahoo! meme, binders full of women. that came out of the second debate as romney clumsy explained how he searched for
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women when he was governor of massachusetts. binders full of women. not binders of resumes of women. binders of women. anyway, we'll be right back. for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪ not binders of resumes of women.
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wnk back to "hardball." today president obama again made clear there will be no deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff without the rich paying a higher tax rate. got it? higher rate. in this interview on bloomberg tv, he made it. let's listen. >> the issue right now that's relevant is the acknowledgment that if we're going to raise revenues that are sufficient to balance with the very tough cuts that we've already made and the further reforms and entitlements that i'm prepared to make, that we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up, and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. >> there you heard it again, top rates have to go up and rates. and some republicans are saying that the gop will ultimately say uncle. conservative columnist byron york, a very smart guy wrote,
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quote, republicans will cave on the question of raising the tax rate for the highest income americans. the only question is whether they do so before or after the government goes over the so-called fiscal cliff "new york times" column us david brooks describes it this way. republicans will be raising middle class tacks in order to serve the rich. shafting sam's club to benefit the country club. if republicans do this, they might as well get mitt romney's 47% comments printed on t-shirts and wear them for the rest of their lives. so republicans have to realize they're going to have to cave on tax rates. the only question is what they get in return. michael steele is former chair of the republican national committee and an msnbc political analyst and steve mcmahon's a democratic strategist. michael, you're on the republican side and what do you think of that? the argument made by brooks which is more sophisticated. make your deal now while you can get something for it because after january 1st you will just be saving your rear end. >> i think he's absolutely right. i think part of that deal should include giving the president what everybody in this town agrees on and that is those
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middle tax cuts for the middle class out of the bush tax cuts. set that aside because everyone agrees we're not going to go after those. then it gives you some time and some room to really negotiate down on that -- what that -- >> we have to do all that by january 1st. >> and it can be done. chris, this is not rocket science. that piece is very easy to -- >> but once you do that, why don't you admit you're not -- you're going to let the top rates go back to 39.6%. >> you can do that but this is the kicker. the republicans want to see that they're actually going to get something in the bargain that's going to be real and genuine, not the promise for cuts in entitlement spending four or five kongss from now but in the next -- >> let's talk turkey. everybody on the o shows do it their way. i want to do it a certain way. >> of course. >> of course. sarcasm won't stop you, might not have you back here again. i'm just kidding. you're invaluable. let's go with this thing. during the cuban missile crisis kennedy and khrushchev were communicating through different ways. kennedy was trying to communicate i will do it this
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way, this won't work for you stick, this will work for you. so they found ways to communicate. is there a communication going on head to head between the president and the speaker right now? >> as of -- >> are they thinking back and forth? >> as of last wednesday they spoke on the phone for 25 minutes. here is what i think is interesting -- >> are they thinking this back and forth are they gaming each other. >> i think they're farther a apart. the president says elections have consequences. but he talked about higher revenues. he didn't stick on higher rates. today -- >> he's back. >> he's moved to higher -- >> i think people on the left all the way to center are saying you got to do rates or you're not going to get pelosi and the core 69 democratic party. >> i think you're absolutely right. that's where the leverage point for bain ser right now knowing that fact. >> does he know that the president can't deliver his party without that rate change? >> i think he does, but i think also that the president knows that boehner has got some problems in his -- >> what does boehner need to do to pay for that? ft. boehner knows he has to give
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on the tax rate at the top, what does his party insist on getting in return? do you know? do you know? what do they want? >> i think that they get -- as i said on this show before, the deal has always been, here, we will give you the cuts in spending if you give us a tax increase. we get the tax increase. we never get the cuts in spending. >> what do they want to spending? 50/50? >> i don't know if it's 50/50? >> 10 to 1. >> let's not get sarcastic. >> 3 to 1. >> yeah. >> $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue. >> at least. >> that's crazy. they'll never get that. they won't get that, will they? >> no the republicans have no leverage.the only people who haven't figured out they have no leverage is the republicans and the speaker. >> why don't they -- >> all the president has to do is marng the markets. if he gives a speech this week and says we're going to go over the cliff, it's not going to be a calamity, the markets have already priced this in. >> i don't believe that. >> it's not going to be -- >> the world is listening.
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the world is not going to listen to the president. >> i agree with you, chris. i think, quite frankly, if the president gross out and announces we're going over the cliff, it will rest doctor. >> here is a poll that makes your point. let's take a look at the question. a new "washington post"/pew research poll shows republicans will get most blame if there's no deal done. congressional republicans will get 53% of the blame game. obama just 27%. now, that's an interesting development there. i looked at that all afternoon and your view of that. >> i think it's absolutely right. number one. number two, the republicans are creating a symbol that is not good for their brand, that they're going to let the tax codes go up for the middle class to protect the wealthy. the president has framed this very well. he's talked about balance. he's talked about the 2% having to do a little bit more. and on every one of those things the public is overwhelmingly with him. one-third of mitt romney's voters believed the top 2% need to pay a little more. >> conceptually you're obviously right. here is my difference. the conditions in which the world lives. right now we're talking about a
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possible fiscal cliff. we're not off the cliff. >> right. >> if it's january 2nd or 3rd and the stock market is going down by a couple thousand worlds around the world. the japanese markets, european countries, countries in europe which are precarious are in bigger trouble. the whole thing is going wacky, one guy is going to be standing in the middle of the storm, not grover norquist or some republican but the president of the united states who has to weather the storm and point the finger across the aisle to someone nobody else in the world knows. speaker boehner, will you solve this problem. i think times change. >> the economically the biggest risk is the sequestration. it's not the tax cuts going into effect. and -- >> you mean the millions of dollars -- >> the cuts that will be forced through in the next two years. that's a much bigger risk to the economy. >> therefore? >> therefore, if the president lets this thing -- look, the markets have already priced this in. >> i hear the opposite. i hear that they believe that grown-ups will do the job when they have to. they don't believe they're going
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to let us go over theically. >> i don't think the grown-ups believe they have to do the job by january 1st. i believe they believe the grown-ups have to do the job by january 30th or february 15th. >> they're going to believe the politicians can get the job done when they failed to get it done by january 1st. >> i hear what steve is saying there. i'm standing in your camp which is a rare spot for me to be in, standing in chris' camp here but i think you're right. i think the markets have not baked this into their equation. >> dysfunction and childishness. >> it has nothing to do would my bottom line in terms of how i'm going to pay for things. as a market force, i don't think they've baked that in. number two, i don't think that the president is going to allow this thing to get to that point. i think they're going to cut a short-term deal to get through that first quarter of next year. >> kick it down the road. >> no. who is the only hero from this
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election other than the president? chris christie. people of all colors, all ethnic groups, you poll them, i have been in the rooms, i was there recently, they want peace treaty of some kind to make it work. they don't want a big victory for the let or right. they want a peace treaty right now. that's what they most want to know, that their parents are getting along. the president should get a little edge on this because he earned it, some edge. >> he's just asking for rates. that's all he's asking for but the same thing he campaigned on -- >> i'm with you. he's got to get it done -- >> he's got to get it done -- >> you go off that fiscal cliff you're part of the chaos and you're in the midst of the chaos. >> however he gets there, he will get there. >> okay captain ahab. >> thank you, michael and steven. . i'm where michael tonight. drives people crazy. a broken clock is right twice a day. up next, the latest from sarah palin who is never, ever right! she says the president is turning the nation commie.
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[ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. . back to "hardball." in the "sideshow," a protest takes a turn for the better. it started out when ohio senator rob portman took to a stage at a fix the debt conference in washington today. a group of protesters pre-empted portman's speech with a staged walkout and a chant about republican plans to cut spending. it was caught on camera by buzz feed. >> we're gonna grow, not slow, the economy. we're gonna grow, not slow the economy. we're gonna grow, not slow, the economy. we're gonna grow, not slow, the economy. >> but here is how the episode ended. there you see senator portman
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with four of the protesters after his speech. well, according to buzz feed, portman and those four protesters, all ohio residents, had an impromptu meeting after his speech ended. it lasted about 20 minutes and concluded with that group photo. i guess thas one way to be a politician and a protester. gets the guy's attention, he gets their attention, they meet, you have a meeting, something gets done. also, why is sarah palin apologizing to fellow republicans? it turns out she's having second thoughts about warning them not to be with uses in debates on taxes and government spending. here is palin and her mea culpa, plus a nugget about socialism. >> well, i guess i shouldn't call politicians names -- >> i don't not? >> i apologize for calling the wobbly ones wusses. that distracts from the points that has to be made. i say go back to what the blanks in your platform represents. it represents reining in government, putting back the power and the responsibility in
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the individual, not in the state, not to government. again, that gets us towards socialism. what goes beyond socialism is communism. i know i'm going to get slammed for speaking to blunt biabout what's going on. >> there's sean hannity getting history lessons from sarah palin. wonderful. next, a bit of the postmortem from "mad men." what romney staffers nicknamed their ad team. manchillow thinks they did a few things right. first of all, he says, their in-house production operation allowed them to churn out ads in record time. but minutekhillo also say if you make the chinese news agency angry, i figure you're doing something right. romney drew their wrath for promising to label them a currency manipulator. unfortunately for the mad men it wasn't just the chinese who were paying attention. general motors spokesman accused them of entering into a parallel
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universe with that ad saying jeep was shipping american jobs to china. finally a toddler takes in cnbc's fiscal cliff talk. >> that's like young kids who say they like me saying let's play "hardball." that's going viral obviously. up next, 44% of a certain group of americans tell pollsters seceding from the union might be a good idea. who are these people in half the republicans think a.c.o.r.n. which no longer exists stole the election. wait until you see these stats. it's like jay walking with jay le leno. i don't know who these people are. anyway, "hardball," the place
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i'm julia boorstin with your cnbc market wrap. the dow falls 13, the s&p is off 2, and the nasdaq loses 5 points. one big winner today was netflix. shares rose 14% after walt disney agra greed to give the company online streaming rights to its moves in 2016. facebook gained 1.5% and yahoo! bought on the air for an undisclosed sum. that's the latest acquisition for ceo marisa meier. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." remember the twilight zone on television with rod surgicli.
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according to the public policy poll out today, 25% of republicans, that's a quarter of all republicans you know, say they would support their state seceding from the union because of president obama's re-election. another 19% said they weren't sure whether their state should secede or not. that means leave america, become something else. it isn't just people tell anonymous pollster. in many states people were signing in open public marketplaces out in the street petitions to leave the country. in seven states the petitions have received enough support to force the white house to respond actually. take a look at this map and where the petitions have received -- well, that's a big shock. tennessee, north carolina, i love north carolina, georgia, florida, alabama, louisiana, and texas. the secession movement has the most signatures in texas, of course, with nearly 120,000 people signing on. according to the norgets, quote, sec setion fever has struck parts of texas. in texas talks of secession has
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steadily schiffed to the center from the fringe. what is really going on here? let's find out. dana milbank has the right attitude, and ron reagan, a good friend of mine, an msnbc political analyst. i have to let you at this first, ron reagan. every time i see "gone with the wind" the southern guys cheering, they can't wait to tame miss scarlet. we're going to have a war and it's going to be great. and then the horror of 600,000 people dead including the burning of atlanta. then everybody says this wasn't such a great idea. now they're talking like secession is a good idea begin. who are these maniacs? >> i'm sure all these people who are plumping for secession would call themselves patriots. >> of what country? >> real americans. >> well, good question here. so the way it works apparently is when democracy doesn't go your way, when you have an election and the other side wins, you throw the entire 200-plus years of the american experiment into the dumper. you have a little kind of hissy fit here. we've all about in groups of
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people where maybe eight, ten people and one of the people, one of the people in this group is character disordered. they're a real sociopath and over time though, if you can't get rid of them right away, that -- they change the entire dynamic, warp the dynamic of the group around their complaints and their sheer craziness. these people are that person in our national conversation. they're the crazy uncle at the table who you have to listen to his paranoid stories or he starts throwing food against the wall. >> let me go back to dana. how about a check on that, dana? is it true that the right is driven by these people who are secessionists? >> right. well, if you lose the election, nothing succeeds like secession. >> like secession. >> there's two things going on here. one is it's normal after elections that a lot of the losing side, they always say i'm going to move to canada, but these guys can't move to canada because it's socialized medicine up there. >> i thought it was australia they always wanted to go to. >> it's a protest against the election. this is roughly the same number of people who will say obama is
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born in kenya or he's a muslim. this is -- >> do they vote? >> but you know what the best revenge would be? if obama could in the white house receive the petition and say, okay, go ahead. you're on your own. because the states, the various that have filed for these petitions, red states, tend to take in a lot more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. it would be very good -- >> you didn't name names in your one-eighth theory. but here are some names. ron paul, very recent congressman, national candidate for the presidency many times. he said secession is a deeply american, a deeply american principle. meanwhile, alan keys, he wrote that while he doesn't think we've reached the point where secession is necessary necessarily, it remains a, quote, god endowed inail yepable right. there you have people with educations, people with brains and a knowledge of american history, who come out and argue that this is something that should be put on the table. >> yeah. i guess brains and an education
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but still somehow profoundly ignorant and they're emblematic of if not the ignorant people in the republican people, at least people who will pander to that ignorance. it's a piece of birtherism, the climate change is a hoax, if you cut taxes for rich people, magically the economy revives. it's magical thinking, and we're in the thrall of magical thickers. the republican party has to follow their magical thinkers. because they do the rest of the national conversation gets distorted and pulled way over to the right. that's what's happening. >> ron, i love the way you 1ug9 that the real patriots are the ones who want to secede from the united states. we once had a priest named father feeney. he didn't like the church's view because the church didn't support no salvation out the church. so he leaves the church. that's just like -- wait a minute, you're one of them now. that doesn't make any sense. it's like we're so patriotic, we're going to leave this
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country. >> we're going to leave the country. they'll have to come up with a new name as they go. it's not just the south. parts of the plains, too, but it would seem to me as long as we could get like from the northeast could get air rights over canada to get to the west coast we could keep something of a nation together. >> what would be their preferred nation to join? >> you know they're not going to mexico. >> they ain't going to denmark. they don't like socialism. they're not going to go where all the white people are. what do they want? >> what's in the neighborhood? >> ron, give me some candidate countries they'd like to succeed and join. >> some autocratic regime in central asia maybe. i don't know. >> here is some more interesting numbers. more interesting numbers from the new ppp poll. what do republicans think was really behind the president's electoral win. when asked why the president won the election legitimately or whether the now defunct a.c.o.r.n. group stole it for him, 49% of republicans say that
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a.c.o.r.n. stole the election. that's why obama won. half the republicans say democrats are engaged in voter fraud. ron, i'm far more fascinated by the fact that all these republicans believe that a.c.o.r.n. -- how can you put your signature to that? how can somebody say to that openly on the telephone, well, i think a.c.o.r.n. did it? >> because they hear it on fox news. that's why. fox news beats the drum about this kind of stuff and that's all these people listen to. they live in this bubble. >> i think they misheard it and they thought a unicorn stole the election. >> i mean a.c.o.r.n. they don't have a nickel to rub against another nickel and they're running the country. thai dana and ron. i think we caught the spirit of this nonsense. up next, one of the most popular guests we've ever had on "hardball" barney frank joins us as we prepared to leaves the country. barney has been around a long time. i thought efforts the new guy. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪
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ally bank. your money needs an ally. you've heard the expression you are what you eat. try this one, you vote what you eat. according to david wasserman of the cook political report president obama won 77% of county that is contain a whole foods store. no surprise really. the high end whole foods tends to locate stores in more affluent neighborhoods and cities and suburbs, right where the democrats tend to live. how did the president do in more rural cracker barrel country? not as well. only 29% went for the president. we'll be right back. [ man ] ring ring... progresso
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dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to to learn about a free trial offer. welcome back to "hardball." i have had a lot of thought about doing this for a while and i'm glad we will could do it tonight. barney frank has been one of the great congressmen for years in the united states congress. he's been representing massachusetts since he was elected back in the early '80s. i want to talk to congressman frank tonight. thank you for joining us barney frank. >> thanks for the chance, chris. >> i think you have probably been thinking big about what you have been doing these incredible numbers of years, since the '80s, since the reagan era. can you feel in you or do you sense progress in this country or perhaps decline from the reagan era to the obama era? when you put them all in your head? >> certainly. look, i'll take one very close to me. the question of legal equality
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for people who are lesbian, gay, bisex you'll or transgender. that fight is about over. it's sort of odd to hear mitt romney complaining that president obama got an advantage because he was for same-sex marriage. not very long ago that was a wedge issue bob dole was using against bill clinton. i think we've made progress in some other areas. clearly be done and we have the deniers of global warming, but we're reducing the amount of oil that we import. there is progress in that regard. on the other hand, there's been, i think, retrogression in the recognition of two of the great accomplishments of america in the 20th century, with social security and medicare. before those two, we did not have the possibility for the average older person who wasn't wealthy to have a decent existence in retirement. we now have that. i'm sorry to see that pulled back. there's also an international
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event, for the first time, and i think we have to recognize this. from 1940 to 1990 we had very heavily armed, very bad people threatening our very existence as a society. even though we may have exaggerated that a little bit at the end. we don't have that anymore. we have murderous thugs and terrorists but they're not the nazis or communists. they don't threaten our very existence. we have an ability now, i believe, to reduce some of the resources we put into self-protection and do more things at home, although there's an ideological barrier to doing it. >> let me know the way the congress -- i know you you've the congress, i hope you still do. >> yes. >> tip o'neill, your old friend and my old boss said the people are better now, better educated than in the old days but what's he say, the process isn't as good. >> i think that's right. a couple of factors there. it's interesting, by the way, the congress is less auto ton mouse. in terms of democratic theory
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that's a good thing. if you remember back in the '80s members felt they had more freedom to make public policy decisions on their own. what happens today is the voters are much more in control. and i know people say, that isn't the case. but, in fact, that's part of the problem. it's not all the voters. it is those voters who choose to be active. and the problem we have is that those voters who choose to be active on the liberal side and conservative side, live in two parallel self-reinforcing universe. right get different media, talk to each other, talk to themselves and you're seeing that now on the side of the republican party. where there is this terrible struggle. look, i think most sensible republicans understand they've got to make some accommodations, but there is this terrible fear that if they act sensibly they'll lose primaries. >> it would seem to me -- i've never been elected to anything
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but it seems to me the joy in the real rich fun of being an elected official is to use edwin burke, sit around with people. you're saying it's more like the british parliament where you vote party line and -- >> you vote party line. at least in the british parliament there's still some sense -- well, there's an autonomy. if you remember the british government, if you vote with your government, your constituency doesn't like, that you probably survive that. people say, why is there this gridlock? let's be clear. it's a combination of the american people and the american constitution. in england if you win the election for house of commons on wednesday, you're the prime minister on friday. but in america at any given time we're governed by the result of free elections. the main reason we're in a dead look is the american people
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drastically change their minds, those who vote, between 2008 and 2010. they like barack obama and a heavily democratic congress in 2008. repudiate their own decision in 2010. two groups of people, each with with a mandate and deep convictions. this is what i think and will ultimately prove to be the case, the election of 2012 is the tiebreaker. i saw john boehner in a pathetic effort to scramble out of it saying it was a status quo election. let me tell you f republicans won the presidency and gained seats in the senate and the house, they wouldn't be calling it a status quo election. they would be calling it a mandate. i'm particularly amused in kind of a frustrated way when they say, well, obama doesn't have a mandate to raise taxes. george bush cut taxes and started two wars with a minus half a million margin in the polls. barack obama has 3.5 million plus. so if 3 3.5 million plus isn't enough of a mandate to do something about taxes, what the
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hell was a half million loss? >> we're going to miss you congressman frank, barney frank ending an incredible career in massachusetts. we'll have you back again, if we can. >> i'll be around, chris. >> i want to ask you what you'll miss, positively and negative will from the congress. thanks for coming on tonight, congressman. >> you're welcome. when we return, let me finish with whether the politicians who run the government will be able to do what's right, do what's necessary. this month. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. made a comm. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. i'd like to thank eating right,
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let me finish with something important. it's about barack obama's job description. if you read the newspapers, you see the fiscal catastrophe of greece, the fragile economics of other countries on the periphery, you see how it's possible for countries to blow it, to keep running up debt, keep spending more than they bring in. right now the world is looking at us, the whole world, by the way, people as far away as hong kong, people have to make sharp decisions about money and see if we, the americans, can be the deadline we set ourselves. can we do what arithmetic dictates and meet our own commitments can't we? i was out there pretty much alone about those wars with iraq, with warning about the weaknesses, political weaknesses of certain democrats over the years, but this fiscal cliff i say is for real. there on would be nothing but trouble if we go over it. even if we get to close to it. the president staked out his
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